Color Me Unfenced: Why I’m Not Your Whore

Michon Neal
Oct 2, 2016 · 6 min read

If you don’t even like men like that, then why can’t you promise me fidelity?

This sounds like a rational question. And fidelity of some sort appears to be a reasonable request. Some sort of promise, even if it doesn’t translate to forever, is necessary for a good relationship, right? Otherwise, there’s no foundation to fall back on, nothing holding you together.

The uncertainty can cause some people to panic.

What do we have, then, if there’s no guarantee we’ll make it?

“Make it where?” I replied in puzzlement. “Is there some goal we’re headed towards? What do think my promise is actually going to do?”

A promise doesn’t mean neither of us will die. It doesn’t mean that either of us will even want to be together a year from now. When love and relationships are viewed through that duty-heavy lens of “whatever it takes to make this work” the individuals are often left sacrificing their integrity (and oftentimes safety) to maintain it.

“Even if I never end up with another man, I still can’t promise you that.”

The words hit him like an arrow.

Then what’s keeping you with me? You don’t depend on me, you don’t want to get married, and you won’t promise me fidelity or forever.

They each say it in their own ways. What it really boils down to:

How can I trust you if I can’t control you?

They like my wildness. They’re drawn in by my belly dancing, my laugh, my openness. They can feel my hunger, my pleasure, my freedom.

And it scares the shit out of them.

I am everything they fantasize about. The whore. The wanton woman. The one who will try anything once. The black goddess channeling Lilith herself.

And that’s why I’m so damn dangerous.

Once they realize it’s not an act, once they realize I really will make no promises, once they realize how high my standards are, once they realize I can’t be broken in like some fucking horse they freak out. They run away. Or they try to hold on tighter. Sometimes they simply try to turn it into a one night stand (the shitty kind, not the decent kind).

Because what sort of commitment can a slut like me ever give? What standard of behavior can I be held to if not theirs? How can the future of my sexual exploits be mine alone to decide?

“Why is it more normal to control someone else’s sexuality than to trust them to respect themselves and you?”

I wondered.

Because it’s not really the fidelity they want. They simply want it to look that way. When most people who promise monogamy end up totally breaking it, it’s still acceptable to play at relationships as if they can. Promises don’t guarantee anything; your actions will show you for exactly who you are.

And unless you’re addicted to sex, you shouldn’t need help monitoring it.

Whether or not you’re monogamous, requiring someone else’s fidelity is not ok. What it all boils down to is sexual ownership: the notion that you have any sort of say over anyone else’s sexuality or expression.

The idea of emotional slavery and sexual ownership is so widespread no one even bats an eye when a man tells the woman he’s with, “no dudes except me” or when she tells him “only with me around”.

They never have any problem with other females or transpeople whose presentation is nonthreatening (not masculine). And even some women also demand fidelity or a promise of one.

Why is sexuality, black women’s in particular, considered something that is given away or promised to someone?

Even if I was monogamous (as much as it makes me shudder to imagine that; it’d only ever be de facto and never inherent or chosen), I still would never promise something like that to anyone. It makes about as much sense as promising someone all of my money for the rest of my life (oh, hello there, mountain of debt).

Very few of my characters practice or aspire to sexual ownership (except temporarily as a kink) even if they’re monogamous. Those that do often simply prove the case for why it’s useless.

In the end though, I like the way that Sex 3.0 put it in the article “There Are Only Two Kinds Of Sexual Relationships”:

Fenced

Unfenced

Simply put, fenced means a based on the concept of sexual ownership and unfenced means not based on the concept of sexual ownership.

You can be in a poly or open relationship and still be fenced. You can be monogamous and be unfenced.

Because what it boils down to at the end of the day is autonomy. We’re expected to have some sort of autonomy over the rest of our lives, and after the Emancipation Proclaimation it’s been considered uncool to advocate for slavery.

And yet, sexual autonomy is still not a thing.

Guys can’t be asexual or demisexual. One partner is befuddled over his irrational guilt for not fucking or trying to fuck every woman he sees. Another had issues around masturbation he could never share with anyone but me because it’s considered dysfunctional. One ran because his desire to be dominated and fucked up the ass by a woman clashed with the image of strong, successful black man. And the latest white guy who wasn’t too afraid to approach me sure was afraid to be seen with me outside of the bedroom (thank goodness it didn’t get to that point).

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”640"]

It’s hard out here for a dude.[/caption]

And women…well, it’s a bit more obvious there. Men, especially black men, are supposed to control their women. What kind of pussy doesn’t control his pussy?

Sigh. It’s so embedded that the question of paternity is considered everyone else’s business.

Oh, yeah, did I mention?

So yeah, despite having endometriosis, PCOS, having had to use fertility drugs to get pregnant before due to my subfertility, all the different birth control I’ve ever been on, and just all of the shit I’ve been through this year, I miraculously got pregnant again. I suppose I was really, really happy to finally be reunited (the neighbors can attest to that, having gotten a front row seat to my endless volley of screams-I’m not normally loud but oh, my!).

And I’ve been revelling in my joy at the sheer impossibility of this, only to be thoroughly pissed off when not one, but three people’s first thought was to ask who the father was.

What the flying fuck?

Even if I had questions about the paternity why is it any of their business? Why should that lessen who I am in their eyes (though obviously, I don’t rank highly anyway)?

It’s ok to have those doubts and to voice such vitriol disguised as reasonable concerns because my sexuality belongs to no one but me, and that’s worrisome. I haven’t promised it to anyone via marriage so everything I do is suspect. I haven’t promised it to him so I might simply run off and leave him behind. I won’t compromise my autonomy and that is terrifying in a culture so used to controlling others through religion, through marriage, through sexual ownership, through parenting (punishment), and more.

I may love my body. I may revel in my super high sex drive and dream and write about situations even the kink community’s never heard of. I may be untamed. I may be unfenced.

But when does that ever mean my sexuality isn’t mine?

That may make it hard to trust me by those typical standards and measures of what makes a good relationship.

But I’ve been misjudged before. This is no different.

I am unfenced. My sexuality-or any other aspect of me-is not something for me to give away. It is something I express. It is part and parcel of my bodily autonomy and you have no more say over it than those who took it by force.

So yeah, call me whore. Sometimes it’s even true. But even so, it’ll never be for you.

Postmodern Woman

All we ask is to be acknowledged. Let people know we exist. These are our stories and services. May we hold you accountable?

Michon Neal

Written by

Integrated Non-Monogamy, Metanoiac Alethiology, aro love terms, cuil fiction, & more; Speaker; Sensitivity Editor Cuil Press. https://the-metanoiac-portal.mn.co

Postmodern Woman

All we ask is to be acknowledged. Let people know we exist. These are our stories and services. May we hold you accountable?

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